Actress Lily Tomlin made her television debut on "The Garry Moore Show" in 1966. In 1969, she joined the cast of "Laugh-In," which catapulted her to stardom. Audiences fell in love with the hilarious characters she created including Edith Ann, a mischievous 6-year-old, and snarky telephone operator Ernestine. Tomlin appeared on the show until it went off the air in 1973.
After her successful run on "Laugh-In," Tomlin went on to star in six television comedy specials that she co-wrote with Jane Wagner. Tomlin and Wagner met in 1971 when Tomlin was looking for a writer to help her develop the character of Edith Ann. They felt an immediate connection, both professional and personal, and became a couple.
Tomlin made her film debut in Robert Altman's "Nashville" (1975). Her performance as a gospel singer and mother of two deaf children earned her an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress. She went on to appear in "The Late Show" (1977) with Art Carney; "Moment By Moment" (1978) with John Travolta and written by Wagner; "Nine to Five" (1980) with Dolly Parton and Jane Fonda; "The Incredible Shrinking Woman" (1981) with Charles Grodin and written by Wagner; "All of Me" (1984) with Steve Martin, "Big Business" (1988) with Bette Midler; "Shadows and Fog" directed by Woody Allen (1993); "Short Cuts" (1993) directed by Altman; "Flirting with Disaster" with Ben Stiller (1996); and "Tea With Mussolini" with Judi Dench and Cher and directed by Franco Zeffirelli (1999).
Following a break from the big screen, Tomlin resurfaced with "I Heart Huckabees" (2004) with Dustin Hoffman and directed by David O. Russell, and "A Prairie Home Companion" (2006) which reunited Tomlin with Altman for his last film. She also starred in "Pink Panther II" (2009) with Martin, "Admission" (2013) with Tina Fey and Paul Rudd and "Grandma" (2015) directed by Paul Weitz.
While appearing on the big screen, Tomlin made her Broadway debut in "Appearing Nitely" (1977), which was written and directed by Wagner. The show incorporated favorite Tomlin roles including Ernestine and housewife Judith Beasley, and introduced new characters such as Trudy the bag lady, Rick the singles bar cruiser and Sister Boogie Woman, a 77-year-old blues revivalist.
Tomlin returned to Broadway in 1985 and won a Tony Award for her performance in the one-woman show "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe," which was written by Wagner. After a year-long run on Broadway, the show toured the country, was made into a 1991 film and revived on Broadway in 2000.
In 1993, Tomlin continued her work in television, appearing in the HBO special "And the Band Played On" about the AIDS epidemic. She has guest starred in numerous TV shows as well, including portraying the matriarch in "Damages," a role which earned her an Emmy nod among a slew of previous nominations and wins; and the narcissistic mother of Lisa Kudrow's character on "Web Therapy."
Tomlin has also done voiceover work for several projects, including playing science teacher Ms. Frizzle on the popular animated TV series "The Magic School Bus," for which she earned a Daytime Emmy; Tammy in "The Last of the Red Hat Mamas" episode of "The Simpsons;" and the character Mommo in the animated feature film "The Ant Bully" (2006).
In 2015, Tomlin starred with Fonda in the Netflix series "Grace and Frankie," in which they play two women whose lives are rocked after their husbands fall in love. Tomlin received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her performance. She also received two Golden Globe nominations—one for her role on "Grace" and the other for the big-screen outing "Grandma."
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